The trials and tribulation of writing for an international audience… or being a writer in a non-US country, maybe? I don’t know. I’m sure it’s true that the world of internet reading is dominated by the US consumer, but it can put a non-US person in a difficult position. We do have different perspectives on the world. When I was travelling, especially in the southern hemisphere, it gave me a whole new perspective on my own country, and I felt like a stranger for months after I got back. I know I’m fully assimilated into my own cultural biases once more. And that sometimes gives me problems when writing, and reading, even though I try hard to iron them out.
Take Giveaways, for example. In any list of Giveaway hops, at least 50% will be US only. That’s fine, the author is probably US based and wants to save on postage. Sorry, shipping. Mine are ‘International’ and I’m always happy to see someone from another country come through the rafflecopter as the winner. I sometimes specify Europe, which makes sure I have a ‘local’ winner, although it does make me feel bad for my Canadian, Indian and Australian friends, but it’s hard to make it ‘International except US’! That’s too much discrimination! So, while I like to get plenty of diversity among my giveaway winners, I was disappointed that all seven of my blog tour prizes were won by US residents. On the other hand, both winners of the Princelings of the East Goodreads Giveaway came from the UK, so it definitely does work at random.
All of which is to let you know that The Princelings and the Lost City is now in a Goodreads Giveaway – running until November 30th. You can enter here:
It was while setting up this giveaway I noticed something strange had happened to my Goodreads ratings for Lost City – and for the BookElves Anthology Volume 1. They’d both dropped dramatically. As far as I knew, there was only one 4-star rating for BookElves, and it now showed only 3 stars under the title. Lost City had dropped from 5 to 4.17, which was very disappointing, as it had a solid 5-star rating and was how I feel about the book. When I looked closer, I saw that ALL my books listed on Goodreads (including the Love Actually sampler, previously unrated) had a one-star rating applied.
So I filtered the ratings and found they were all by someone called L, and posted on 15th October 2015. L’s profile was private, no avatar, and had 14,473 ratings, of which all but 9 were 1 star! (the 9 were 2 stars, and I wonder why). I conclude I am the victim of a troll. Along with around 3,000 other authors. If I had the time, I might look at whether L targets only self-pubs, or people on certain forums, or what. I’m not sure whether Goodreads bothers to look at them, or whether I should ask them to. Maybe I should just forget it.
The other thing I noticed was a review of the BookElves Volume 1 (paperback) which mentioned it had typos. I have double checked, and I can’t find them. I may be missing those pesky ‘missing words’. One of my co-authors may find them. But, I think the problem might come back to this international business. Our seven stories are written by authors in four countries. We use our native English spellings – either US or UK style. I wonder whether the reviewer was so unused to UK English she thought they were typos? Should I comment? Well, I haven’t. What I have done is make sure that Anthology Volume 2 states that some stories are in US and some in UK English. It probably won’t make any difference to the reader.
I considered whether to edit the Anthology into one or other version. But which to choose? I’m sure to alienate half my audience that way! No, let’s just roll with the punches, and keep focussing on writing the best books I can, in UK English where appropriate, and US where I need to. Vive la difference!